DAGA Download – June 21

June 21, 2019

Here is what happened last week for DAGA and our Democratic Attorneys General:

T(OP – ED)S: Coast to Coast

  • In an op-ed for the Daily Press, Virginia AG Mark Herring wrote that “Virginia should decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, address past convictions and start moving toward legal and regulated adult use.” AG Herring continued, “…we can’t avoid the conversation any longer, especially when our current system continues to saddle Virginians with convictions and even jail time, and black Virginians at a strikingly disproportionate rate. It is time for Virginia to embrace a better, smarter, and fairer approach to cannabis.” Read the full op-ed, which outlines a new approach for the Commonwealth here!
  • As attacks on reproductive rights and abortion bans continue to make headlines, DAGA Co-Chair Oregon AG Ellen Rosenblum teamed up with Oregon Governor Kate Brown and Oregon Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici for an op-ed in The Oregonian. The three write “[w]e are fighting back — in the state Capitol, in Congress, and in the courts— against those attempting to turn back the clock on reproductive freedom.” Catch the full op-ed here ahead of this weekend’s first-of-its-kind “We Decide” Presidential Candidate Forum hosted by the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

(POD)CASTTING CALL: Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro
appeared on the latest episode of activist and actress Alyssa Milano’s podcast, “Sorry Not Sorry”, to talk about his work uncovering systemic abuse in the Catholic Church. Listen to the full podcast here!

The Colorado Sun’s Jesse Paul took a closer look at newly-elected Colorado AG Weiser’s accomplishments in his first six months in office and his teamwork with the broader Democratic AG coalition. DAGA Co-Chair Oregon AG Ellen Rosenblum noted that AG Weiser has “already shown himself to be a leader. I think we are looking to him, especially when it comes to developing theories of the cases that we’re bringing. He’s just right in there with us.” Check out the full Colorado Sun article here!

The Trump administration rolled out its biggest climate policy rollback to date. According to some reports, the comically named “Affordable Clean Energy Rule” may increase greenhouse gas emissions and is projected to lead to 470 to 1,400 premature deaths each year compared to Obama’s Clean Power Plan.

THE GOOD NEWS: New York AG Tish James immediately announced plans to challenge the dirty power scheme and California AG Xavier Becerra, Colorado AG Phil Weiser, Iowa AG Tom Miller, and DAGA Co-Chair Oregon AG Ellen Rosenblum stood together to push back on the dangerous environmental policy and defend the Clean Power Plan at a press conference on Wednesday.

Minnesota AG Keith Ellison
is leading a 20+ Democratic AG coalition in calling for additional grants and legislative action in order to protect and secure the election process ahead of the 2020 presidential election cycle. AG Ellison said “Our democracy works only if we can trust the integrity of our elections — and that integrity was breached in 2016. What we need to do to rebuild it is not a mystery to anyone, including Congress. I put together this coalition of attorneys general because as the chief legal officers of our states, we know it is past time for Congress to act.” Read more from the Fox 9 article here!

The United States Supreme Court rejected the appeal by the Republican-led Virginia House of Delegates in the long-standing racial gerrymandering case where the GOP attempted to overturn newly drawn, fair, congressional maps. The 5-4 ruling noted that the state legislative chamber controlled by Republicans could not continue to fight a ruling that the state Attorney General, Mark Herring, had accepted. AG Herring had refused to go along with the Republican racial gerrymandering. Shortly after the news broke AG Herring said, “It’s unfortunate that House Republicans wasted millions of taxpayer dollars and months of litigation in a futile effort to protect racially gerrymandered districts, but the good news is that this fall’s elections will take place in constitutionally drawn districts.” Find out more about this big win for fair representation in the Richmond Times-Dispatch here!

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